My idea hasn't been thought out a lot. But here is an outline:
Why not make it possible for weapons to be customised almost unlimitedly? I know there are rules for determining rent for items, and those rules don't change from item to item, so they could be applied automatically to a weapon being created. For example:
Suppose I wanted a str weapon, that gave me +5 str, +10 hit points, and had a chance to weaken the enemy. Lets say it was 17kg, did 18 max damage and had no minus at all. Lets also say it was 8000 rent like this.
The rules for determining rent don't change. If someone wanted a weapon that did everything, and could afford to spare 15000 rent for one, at the expense of other things, so be it.
Making this possible would allow infinate possibilites for weapons. I like that idea. There would have to be some things not allowed to be done, I am sure. (so things don't become overpowered [blind]) But these are guidelines that could be set out from the beginning.
I see problems with this of course, there are a few. It would probably some immort involvement for each weapon. But I don't think that this should be an easy ability to aquire.
Food for thought, an idea that I'd like to hear comments on.
If weapon variety was to be achieved, it could be done via quests within new areas, by having quests that can imbue certain qualities to equipment, with rent cost reflecting the fact that it was done via a quest. For example, there could be a quest in Beowulf, where if you slay the wyrm (yeah yeah, easy mob) you can take its blood and have the Dwarf enhance your sword with it, giving it a dissolve attack or something.
It could be interesting too, i think, to introduce coupons with such effects, like +20hp/-20ma +1k rent coupon to be used at any item of your choice, etc. These should be awarded very sparingly, of course, but i don't see why we couldn't have, say +1hp/-1mana +50 rent coupons :p
One would need to be able to make the weapons have stats on them but this could be achieved by making special materials needed to give stat effects, or possibly special material be needed for q5 quality. It would add a lot to the mud I think. It wouldn't have to be that the weapons were so good they overshadowed everything else. Something just about like make staff with the ability to add 5 stat points. For 5 practices that seems fair.